It can be a challenge to get shy students to engage in classroom discussions and group projects because of their tendency to be quieter than other students. But now that technology is playing a larger role in the classroom, teachers are using it to get more connected to their soft-spoken students and encouraging them to participate more.
One of the biggest challenges for introverts is brainstorming, especially when it happens as a class or a large group. Here are a four ways to help these students get more involved in the brainstorming process and become more productive.
Take the conversation online.
Extroverts easily can become teachers’ favorite students because they speak their minds so freely. But be careful not to shine the spotlight too heavily on your outspoken students. Try creative approaches to group sharing such as a discussion board where students can speak up without actually having to stand in front of the entire classroom.
Break into mobile groups.
Because introverts sometimes prefer not to draw attention to themselves in large groups, consider breaking the class up into smaller segments. Once you have more intimate groups. allow them to use technology to brainstorm together. For instance, instead of rearranging the tables and chairs, consider allowing students to use text messages to share their ideas. This gives students the time they need to think through their thoughts in a quieter setting.
Digitize the process.
When you think about brainstorming, what likely comes to mind are students calling out ideas and someone jotting them down on a whiteboard. But what if you changed that process? Try incorporating the notion of journaling into the brainstorming process. This happens in writing classes all the time. Let students start a brainstorming blog where they can jot down their thoughts and think through them entirely before sharing with the class.
Don’t force them to speak.
Once students have shared their thoughts in a discussion board or through text messages, there still can be an expectation that they have to share their ideas out loud, making some students uncomfortable. It’s important to remember that forcing a student to speak in front of their peers can have a negative impact. While public speaking is an important skill for students to develop, have them develop their skills on their own time by recording a video. This way, they will feel like they are in charge of their learning process.